For millennia the Silk Road represented the route through which East and West exchanged goods, culture and civilization. It is a symbol and an inspiration for Kurinji, uniting suggestions from the East with European and Western fashion and culture.

The oldest records of caravan routes that connected Asia to Europe can be traced back to Herodotus (mid-5th century B.C.E.) At that time there was the “royal Persian route,” which in more than 3,000 kilometers ran from ancient Ecbatana to the Aegean Sea. Connected to it were other routes that came from India and Central Asia. Alexander the Great in the second half of the third century B.C.E. conquered the Persian Empire and consolidated these routes, fostering the development of other caravan routes: archaeological evidence of these has come down to us, demonstrating the trade and cultural exchanges that had been taking place for millennia between East and West. Mutual influences would also have given rise in Xinjiang to hybrid idioms, influenced by Persian, Turkish, and a form of Indo-European close to Italic languages.

The Silk Road, as it was defined in 1877 by geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen, followed at least five different routes spanning 8,000 kilometers, heading south and west from China. The caravan routes were supplemented by sea trade routes from the Far East towards East Africa and Europe. Through these routes traveled spices, essential for food preservation in an age when there were no refrigeration systems, perfumes, precious stones, products of all kinds, including paper and gunpowder. And of course silk, at least until the secret of its production reached the West.

There is much iconographic evidence of this continuous flow of goods and culture: one example is the Heracles- Vajrapāṇi protector of the Buddha visible in Gandhara art, or the depiction of Borea, the Greek god of the north wind, which we find in the Japanese Fūjin.

It is recent news that an archaeological site has been found in northwestern China, in the Qinghai region bordering Tibet. A group of tombs returned many artifacts, including coins, silver, and silk, from various parts of the country. Other earlier findings of graves in the same area, which also contained Byzantine coins, suggest that this area was an ancient junction of the Silk Road, more specifically the southern branch, which was unaffected by the wars and uprisings that occurred instead in the northern branch after the 7th century.

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